Change is one of life’s few constants. It applies to the gear we use to put bass in the boat just as it does to most everything else.
If you read my previous column you’re aware it dealt with spinnerbaits. In that column I told how spinnerbaits played a major role in the outcome of the first Bassmasters Classic.
I also mentioned that a lure called the Shannon Twin Spinner was catching its share of fish before the spinnerbaits we know today ever came on the scene.
What brought all this to mind? It was some of the thoughts one of the other columnists here at Inside Line shared with us several months ago. The guy I’m talking about is Bernie Schultz, the respected professional bass man whose “Beating the Bank” column is a regular feature at this website.
What Bernie shared was how big bass had torn up a couple of his light wire spinnerbaits during competition on the tournament trail last year. As I understand it, the wire of both of those spinnerbaits that heavyweight fish tore apart had broken just back from the line tie at the head of the lures.
Like the expert bassin’ man he is, Bernie told how he planned to get around that sort of thing in the future. He explained how he was placing a split ring of just the right size behind the line tie. You might want to check this out in the archives for Bernie’s column.
As he explained and pictured, Bernie is counting on this split ring to provide additional strength where it’s needed on his light wire spinnerbaits.
What Bernie had to say brought up a number of thoughts and questions I’ve always had about spinnerbaits. I’m thinking especially of some of the changes we’ve seen in them since they came on so strong back in the early days of professional bass fishing.
In my previous column I also mentioned being among those who favor using a snap when I’m throwing lures like spinnerbaits for bass. I’d guess there are many other bass anglers who fall into this category.
Perhaps you, like me, favor using a snap because it makes it so quick and easy to change lures. As far as I’m concerned one of the biggest mistakes we can make is to continue fishing a lure of the same size or color hour after hour even though the fish aren’t showing the slightest interest in it.
It’s a heck of a lot easier to stay away from this problem if you have a snap at the end of your line. I’m talking about a snap, not a snap swivel.
I’m aware there are lures like certain in-line spinners that do require a snap with a swivel to avoid line twist. That’s not a problem if you’re using just a snap with most of the lures that fall into the hard bait category.
Bernie’s comments and the spinnerbaits you see on tackle dealer shelves today are what brought this to mind. If you’ve been around as long as I have you’ll recall that originally all spinnerbaits were made with a closed eye. You could use every darn one of them with a snap if you chose to do so.
Examine nearly all the spinnerbaits marketed today and you’ll find that the closed round eye no longer exists. Now they are made without a closed round eye. I’m still not exactly sure how or why this change in spinnerbait construction came about.
Today it’s essential to tie your line or leader directly to the open metal loop at the head of a spinnerbait. If you endeavor to use a snap with these spinnerbaits you’ll wind up having problems.
The reason I’ve heard most often for doing away with the closed eye is that the spinnerbait makers say you’ll get a better hook set with the open eye and a direct line tie.
You can agree with that if you choose. I don’t. Maybe someone with a degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology could break this down for me. I expect that over a whole lot of years I’ve caught about as many bass on a spinnerbait as the next one. And mine have all had a closed eye.
I can say this because if the spinnerbaits that caught my fish weren’t made with a closed eye originally, I’ve closed off the end of them so they did have one. I can go ahead and use them with a snap if I choose to do so.
For years I closed off the end of my spinnerbaits so I could use a snap by using fly tying thread. This worked well and still does. I simply wrap the flying tying thread at the rear end of the metal loop at the front end of the lure.
Once I’ve done that I apply a bit of super glue or fly tying head cement to the thread. Now I have a spinnerbait I can use with a snap. This means I can take it off in a couple of heartbeats to switch to something else if I choose to do so. And if I do want to tie direct I can still do that, too.
While the fly tying thread works, there is a potential problem associated with its use. The thread can get damaged or wear out over time. If that happens and you don’t notice you might wind up losing the lure.
I’ve found a new way to create a closed spinnerbait eye. If you prefer to fix your spinnerbaits so you can use them with a snap, you’re going to want to see how it’s done. It gets the task taken care of with ease.
Besides closing off the eye, this new procedure also strengthens the looped eye of a light wire spinnerbait. You’ll find the details right here in my September column.
Click here for part three